Daily Archive: March 24, 2011


Sanders giving back to elevate community

This Spring, former Pittsburgh Steeler and well-known philanthropist Chuck Sanders will open Savoy, a new upscale restaurant in the Strip District. In the time since plans for the restaurant were first set in motion, Sanders has kept busy organizing gospel concerts and managing his many charitable contributions through Chuck Sanders Charities, all while operating his company Urban Settlement Services LLC, which has found itself among the top 15 in the nation for Black enterprise. PILLAR OF SOCIETY—Chuck Sanders has become a staple of Pittsburgh’s philanthropic community. (Photo by J.L. Martello) “Success breeds success. This didn’t happen overnight. There’s a legacy that I’m trying to uphold. I’m very proud of the reputation my father had and I’m happy to carry it on myself,” Sanders said. “It’s very important to me to do things right.”


Charles Street mystery development

Given the contentious sparring over inclusion of African-American workers on the K. Leroy Irvis Science Building project, when the Courier learned of a construction project on the North Side that was employing a large number of Black laborers, inquiries were made to the Urban Redevelopment Authority. GONE GREEN—A section of Charles Street on Pittsburgh’s North Side once filled with houses is now empty and slated to remain vacant by design as “green space.” (Photo by J.L. Martello) A large swath of land, containing several blocks of houses on Charles Street has been entirely cleared and graded from Brighton road to just below the Gibson Green development. Graded for what? When first asked, no one seemed to know entirely. Chuck Powell, who was away from the office attending to a sick relative, nonetheless retuned an email inquiry saying he was aware of the work going on and suggested contacting Colette O’Leary in the real estate department. She knew nothing of the project.


Blackridge homeowner charges redlining

Fourteen months after a burst pipe ruined walls, ceilings and appliances in her Blackridge home, Jana Woodruff is close to getting her kitchen finished. It would not have taken so long, she said, had the restoration contractor G.S. Jones charged her more than if she’d lived somewhere else. “Mathew Poole, the estimator, sat right here in my living room and said, ‘we base our prices on zip codes,’” Woodruff said. “That is the basis of my complaint with the state Human Relations Commission.” Redlining in real estate is the practice of refusing to sell property in certain neighborhoods to minorities even if they can afford it. Charging people a higher rate for a given service based on where they live is also redlining, and is a Civil Rights violation. DUCT TALES—Jana Woodruff shows where a burst pipe came down the walls into her basement and damaged carpeting, woodwork, ductwork televisions and computers. She says a contractor illegally overcharged her, and has a case pending before the PA Human Relations Commission. (Photos by J. L. Martello)


Speak Out: What is needed to rebuild the Black community?

Bev Smith recently hosted a town hall meeting on AURN radio on the topic “The Disappearing Black Community,” so we asked Pittsburghers their views and here is what you said: “The Black community needs to reach back to those turbulent times when thousands of Blacks marched and closed down job sites and Nate Smith took control of this city. We need to revolutionize ourselves and make self-sustainability our focus as well as stand strong in our demand for self, family and community…But to accomplish this we need to re-learn how to love/respect and unite our Black community.”Bonita Lee PennManaging editorSewickley


Ala. leaders apologize for handling of 1944 rape

by Bob Johnson ABBEVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Nearly 70 years after Recy Taylor was raped by a gang of White men, leaders of the rural southeast Alabama community where it happened apologized Monday, acknowledging that her attackers escaped prosecution because of racism and an investigation bungled by police. GOOD FIRST STEP—Recy Taylor, now 91, is seen her home in Winter Haven, Fla. Black and White leaders from a rural southeast Alabama community apologized March 21, to relatives of Taylor, who was raped in 1944 by a gang of White men. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File) “It is apparent that the system failed you in 1944,” Henry County probate judge and commission chairwoman JoAnn Smith told several of Taylor’s relatives at a news conference at the county courthouse. Taylor, 91, lives in Florida and did not attend the news conference. Family members said she was in poor health and was not up to traveling to Abbeville or speaking with reporters. But her 74-year-old brother Robert Corbitt, who still lives in town, was front and center and said he would relay the apology to his sister.



Good news: The recession is stopping crime

(REAL TIMES MEDIA)–Conventional wisdom has always said that crime and poverty are related to each other. The more poor people you have, the more people out of work, or looking for it, the more crimes you’re going to have. Interestingly there is a root to that logic that also makes criminals less evil and less problematic for society. Crime is based on “need” not “greed.” If you’re poor, you’re stealing things because you lack the basic necessities in life, as opposed to stealing just because you want something. However, new reports are showing that our conventional wisdom about crime may be way off, because quiet as it’s kept, in the worst and longest recession in 60 years, America is seeing an all time low in crime.


Pointless shootout between Jalen Rose and Grant Hill

(NNPA)—Forty-five years ago, Texas Western University’s all-Black starting lineup defeated No. 1-ranked University of Kentucky’s all-White basketball team for the 1966 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. The game, played at the University of Maryland’s Cole Field House on March 19, 1966, sent major White universities scouring the country for African-American players, literally changing the face of college basketball. Pat Riley, a member of Adolph Rupp’s losing team and former coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, was a member of the Kentucky team that lost 72-65. Jerry Bruckheimer, who made “Glory Road,” a movie about the game, told the El Paso Times, “Pat Riley told me this great story that Magic Johnson came into his office when he was coach of the Lakers and said, ‘Had not David Lattin dunked that ball over you, I wouldn’t be in here [the NBA].’”